Anatomy of a Leak: Cooperation Between Wikileaks and News Groups Examined

Yahoo's Michael Calderone examines relationship between news orgs and Wikileaks.

ByABC News
November 24, 2010, 8:35 PM

Nov. 29, 2010 — -- Fallout from Wikileaks' cache of embarrassing diplomatic cables has left fingers of blame pointed across the world, but the well-organized leak has also shed light on a new breed of cooperation to get the story out.

Once considered a rogue organization, Wikileaks appears to have gained even more credibility with this latest set of documents -- at least among the news media.

"I can't think of a story where the New York Times has given nine straight days to coverage," said Yahoo blogger Michael Calderone, who reported that England's The Guardian gave all of the cables to The New York Times, potentially to safeguard against possible injunctions.

Though some have accused The Guardian, The Times and the other publications who received advance copies of the cables of being in cahoots with Wikileaks, Calderone said he doesn't see the advanced notice any different from any other source sharing information.

"It's not like there's collusion between the two," he said, "but there now is this sort of relationship."

This marks the third time this year that Wikileaks has partnered with news outlets ahead of the release of sensitive documents.

Though the New York Times was included earlier this year on leaks of material from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it was shut out this time, Calderone said, after Wikileaks founder Julian Assange took exception with the paper's reporting on the previous two leaks.

Despite the growing relationship between Wikileaks and the media, the U.S. government still does not consider Wikileaks a legitimate organization.

Michael Calderone spoke with ABC's Jeremy Hubbard for today's Conversation. We hope you'll watch to learn more.

Watch more "Conversation" videos here.

Click here to return to the "World News" page.